Whether it’s Mary Peters, the former U.S. secretary of Transportation, whose name pops up each election cycle as a possible gubernatorial candidate, or Byron Schlomach, chief economist at the Goldwater Institute who says, “I wouldn’t build any new freeway without tolls,” — privatized roads have a fan base. Peters, by the way, is now a consultant for a Texas toll-road company.
John Munger, the Tucson lawyer who recently threw his hat in the 2010 governor’s ring, has spoken of his interest in moving the concept forward.
Here’s the report in the daily, which includes this bit under the “con” section of the pro and con arguments: In California, toll lanes were opened on an Orange County highway to relieve congestion on the crowded Interstate 5 route between Los Angeles and San Diego. Initially, it was hailed as a new model for helping commuters. Before long, surrounding highways were clogging up with drivers unwilling to pay the toll. When improvements on nearby roads were planned, the toll operator sued because the contract barred the state from building roads that would compete.
And how many recall the under-the-radar bill (HB 2396) Gov. Jan Brewer signed into law July 13, 2009, that established a framework for the Arizona Department of Transportation to enter into Public-Private Partnerships including a mechanism for toll roads — and allowing for the use of eminent domain to acquire private property for such use?
We didn’t either.